Green Theology is concerned with living more harmoniously with the earth for spiritual reasons. It also puts importance on wise stewardship of the environment and for all living things.

Green Theology seeks to serve God by

  • Living harmoniously with the rest of natural creation
  • Thoughtful and economic use of resources
  • Increasing transparency of production process
  • “Closing the Loop” – Recycling and increasing use of renewable resources.
  • Using local resources
    • Strengthens local communities
    • Justice and fairness in production
    • Provides opportunities to support sustainable agriculture
    • Reduces dependence on fossil fuels and transportation costs

Additional Resources

Reasons to go Green

  • Appreciation for and spiritual connection to nature
  • Using less is spiritual – represents fasting, thrift, frugality, kindness, fairness
  • Connection to place
  • Produce less air and water pollution
  • Remember future generations who will have to live with the consequences of our energy practices
  • Become more independent – freedom from dependence on nonrenewable resources
  • Slow chemical damage to buildings and contents
  • Help prevent oil related wars
  • Attraction to simpler way of life
  • Receive relatively high financial return on investments
  • Do the right thing
  • Set an example for others to follow. If we don’t, who will?

To Serve Christ In All Creation – Episcopal Church in America

Principles of Sustainability

  1. Recycling materials (water, minerals, metals)
  2. Using biodegradable materials, preventing buildup of garbage
  3. Sustainable harvesting, agriculture
  4. Meeting human needs of all people

Page 63-64 Parish Environmental Audit

The Many Levels of Green Theology

Green Theology has many levels, from simple and inexpensive, to more technical and expensive.

No cost

  • Appoint one person to monitor all energy usage in the building and make recommendations. This person should have access to all energy bills.
    • This person will keep records of energy use
    • Read meters the last thing at night and the first thing in the morning
    • Look for ways to reduce high costs overnight
    • Visit the building at 3 AM – what is happening at night? Are lights unnecessarily on? Are temperatures too high?
    • Visit other similar religious buildings that are more energy efficient.  You can learn a lot by visiting with the people who operate it. Take your utility data so you can compare costs.
    • Learn more
      • On the web
      • Energy management literature from corporations, government agencies, utilities, and environmental groups
      • Professional and home show expositions, conferences on commercial lighting, building maintenance and electric use Turn things off
  • Make sure exterior doors are closed after entrance during the winter
    • Put up signs, appoint usher to make sure door is closed
  • Display utility invoices to the congregation – stimulate interest in reducing cost
  • Turn off lights and appliances when they are not being used. Nothing is more efficient than “off”.
  • Install motion and sound sensors for lights in public places
  • Comparison shop – buy the least expensive energy
  • Tune systems to optimal performance
  • Support Redeemers/Recycling – Recycling reduces energy used in manufacturing, reduces garbage and pollution, conserves materials for future generations
  • Use Fair Trade Products – Sell Fair Trade Products at cost or as fund raiser
  • Recycle paper, glass, plastic & metal
  • Change from styrofoam to paper products
  • Collect rainwater for watering garden and lawn
  • Compost organic material – reduces garbage collection
  • Support members of congregation in incorporating Green principles in their daily life

Low cost

  • Install data loggers – inexpensive ones monitor temperatures
    • More expensive ones also monitor light, humidity, and amperage
  • Install water savers on toilets, faucets and showers
  • Install sound and motion sensors on lights in public areas
  • Change lights from standard bulbs to fluorescent
  • Install energy efficient ballasts – for ex., replace T12 magnetic ballast lights with T8 lights with electric ballasts.
  • Change EXIT signs from standard bulbs to LED’s
  • Purchase highest rated energy efficient replacement appliances
  • Patch/caulk loose or broken windows
  • Install interior storm windows
  • Purchase energy rom renewable resources – adds 1-2 cents per kilowatt; reduces air pollution and dependence on oil, coal & nuclear energy
  • Landscaping that uses native plants and maximizes living with sun and wind
  • Adding insulation during renovations
  • Have a professional energy audit. Can be arranged by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority  (annual electric bills of less than $25,000 costs $100)


  • Install newer insulated windows in the parish hall, rectory and Undercroft
  • Install a high efficiency oil furnace
  • Convert to zoned heating system
  • Replace manual with programmable thermostat

High Tech/Expensive

  • Solar energy
  • Wind energy
  • Geothermal system

A list of resources for further study is available at Interfaith Power and Light.


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